Ana Zangroniz, a former awareness and appreciation coordinator for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Coral Reef Conservation Program, has been named the Florida Sea Grant agent with UF/IFAS Extension for Miami-Dade County.
In her new role, Zangroniz will be developing programs related to coastal resiliency, water access and responsible use of marine and coastal resources. She also hopes to develop boating and fishing education programs, with focus on Spanish-speaking residents which comprise more than 60 percent of the county’s population.
With her previous experience as a park ranger for Biscayne National Park, Zangroniz thought Florida Sea Grant would be a perfect fit.
“I have collaborated with Sea Grant several times over the past few years, and was impressed with the great resources offered by the program,” Zangroniz said.
“As I learned more about the extension program, I saw it as a unique opportunity to complement other activities offered by local organizations and agencies.”
Zangroniz received her bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from the Rochester Institute of Technology and her master’s degree in marine affairs and policy from the University of Miami. Before switching gears from photography to marine policy, Zangroniz taught photography as an adjunct professor at Montgomery College in Rockville, Md. She has also completed an environmental policy internship at Biscayne National Park.
“Ever since my childhood, I was fascinated with the ocean and the amazing world within it. My interest in the coast really piqued when I began volunteering at the National Aquarium in Baltimore back in 2010,” Zangroniz said, referring to her stint as a volunteer scuba diver at the aquarium. Since then, she has been certified as a scientific diver through the National Park Service.
“Ana brings unique skills that will allow Florida Sea Grant and IFAS Extension to not only expand existing programs, but create new ones that will make lasting contributions to residents in Miami-Dade County,” said Martin Main, associate director of education and extension for Florida Sea Grant.